ChickenBones: A Journal

for Literary & Artistic African-American Themes


Home   ChickenBones Store (Books, DVDs, Music, and more)  


Last week Richard Wright took part on the Town Hall meeting. They discussed the Race Problem. Wright

was good, but I was a little disappointed in the tone of his voice. Maybe it's his southern accent. . . .

I don't know. He was very good though. Did you hear him or did the program get through?



Books by Marcus Bruce Christian

Song of the Black Valiants: Marching Tempo / High Ground: A Collection of Poems  / Negro soldiers in the Battle of New Orleans

I am New Orleans: A Poem / Negro Iron Workers of Louisiana: 1718-1900 /  The Liberty Monument

*   *   *   *   *


Books by Richard Wright


Richard Wright: Early Works  / Black Boy  / Native Son  / Uncle Tom's Children / 12 Million Black Voices  / Richard Wright: Later Works


The Outsider  /  Pagan Spain Black Power  /  White Man Listen!  / The Color Curtain Savage Holiday / The Long Dream

Eight Men: Short Stories  / Haiku / American Hunger / Lawd Today!

*   *   *   *    *

Letters from the

Archives of Marcus Bruce Christian

From & To Friends, Colleagues, & Wife


Letter 30

 Ruth [MBC's wife] Enjoys Negro life in Chicago




Chicago Signal Depot 

1903 West Pershing Road 

Chicago 9, Illinois 

June 1, 1945 


Dear Bruce, 

I received your wonderful little book and I thought it -- as always a wonderful piece of work. Thank you.

Guess what? I went to the Regal theater to see Duke Ellington in person and guess who I saw in the All-American Newsreel? None other than our friend, Dr. Buggs. The announcer said Buggs is the only Negro at Wayne University.

About two weeks ago Walter White spoke at Du Sable High School that's just 2 blocks away from my house. I wanted to go but the advertisement did not state that the public was invited and gave no time. I phoned operator but she said they were not allowed to give out the high school's phone number . . . the weather was bad, so I didn't take a chance on going.

Rev. Clayton Powell also spoke there sometimes ago. I was working nights then and couldn't go. 

I did manage to see Paul Robeson in the stage play "Othello" though. He was Great!

I also made it a point to see Helen Hayes, in the stage play "Harriet." She was perfect! And . . . I also saw Katheryne Dunham and her troupe in "A Tropical Revue." I don't have to tell you that was the greatest thing I have ever seen since I have been there. She played at the Studebaker Theater.

Duke Ellington gave a concert at the Opera House, again I was working nights and missed him.

Last week Richard Wright took part on the Town Hall meeting. They discussed the Race Problem. Wright was good, but I was a little disappointed in the tone of his voice. Maybe it's his southern accent. . . . I don't know. He was very good though. Did you hear him or did the program get through?

One man, I presume he was white, asked Wright about Negro Psychology. Wright told him, he knew of no such animal. He received a big hand.

How are you getting along at Dillard and how is the book coming along? Give my regards to Willie, Sister, Ben, and all the folks, 



*   *   *   *    *

Ruth Warm again on Chicago and Gives Christian Her View of Conflict  / Ruth Unhappy with Christian's Response

Ruth Lonely for Christian Chicago Wears Thin  / Ruth Enjoys Negro Life in Chicago   /  Ruth, the  Bible, & a Marriage Certificate 

Ruth Anxious Aout War's End Plans to return to Will's Point  


<<---Previous29   Next--31->>

*   *   *   *    *

Richard Wright (1908-1960) set the standard for prose writing for an entire generation, including Ralph Ellison and James Baldwin. Born on a plantation near Natchez, Mississippi, Wright used his personal life to dramatize racial injustice and its brutalizing effects.

He first won fame while working for the federal Writers Project in Chicago when he published Uncle Tom's Children (1938), receiving an award for the best fiction by a WPA writer and a Guggenheim Fellowship.

Two years later he published Native Son, which became a Book of-the-Month choice.


Uncle Tom's Children. New York: Harper & Brothers, 1938; HarperCollins, 1993.

Native Son. New York: Harper & Brothers, 1940; HarperCollins, 1993.

The Outsider. New York: Harper & Brothers, 1953; HarperCollins, 1993.

Savage Holiday. New York: Avon Books, 1954; Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 1994.

The Long Dream New York: Doubleday, 1958.

Eight Men. Cleveland: World, 1961.

Lawd Today! New York: Avon Books, 1963; Boston: Northeastern University Press, 1993.

Rite of Passage. New York: Harper Collins, 1994.


Twelve Million Black Voices. New York: Viking Press, 1941. 

Black Boy. New York: Harper & Brothers, 1945; HarperCollins, 1993. 

Black Power. New York: Harper & Brothers, 1954. T

The Color Curtain. Cleveland: World, 1954; Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 1994. 

Pagan Spain. New York: Harper & Row, 1957. 

White Man, Listen! New York: Doubleday, 1957. 

American Hunger. New York: Harper & Row, 1977.


Haiku: This Other World. Eds. Yoshinobu Hakatuni and Robert L. Tener. Arcade, 1998.

*   *   *   *   *

Selected Letters  Selected Diary Notes

Memories of Marcus B. Christian (CainsChristian's BioBibliographical Record    Introduction to I AM NEW ORLEANS 

A Theory of a Black Aesthetic   Magpies, Goddesses, & Black Male Identity

Activist Works on Next Level of Change   Intro to I Am New Orleans   Letter from Dillard University

A Labor of Genuine Love  Letter of Gift of Photos   Letters from LSU and Skip Gates

*   *   *   *   *

Negro Iron Workers of Louisiana: 1718-1900

By Marcus Bruce Christian


Study of the blacksmith tradition and New Orleans famous lace balconies and fences.

Acclaimed during his life as the unofficial poet laureate of the New Orleans African-American community, Marcus Christian recorded a distinguished career as historian, journalist, and literary scholar. He was a contributor to Pelican's Gumbo Ya Ya, and also wrote many articles that appeared in numerous newspapers, journals, and general-interest publications.

*   *   *   *   *'s 25 Best Selling Books



#1 - Justify My Thug by Wahida Clark
#2 - Flyy Girl by Omar Tyree
#3 - Head Bangers: An APF Sexcapade by Zane
#4 - Life Is Short But Wide by J. California Cooper
#5 - Stackin' Paper 2 Genesis' Payback by Joy King
#6 - Thug Lovin' (Thug 4) by Wahida Clark
#7 - When I Get Where I'm Going by Cheryl Robinson
#8 - Casting the First Stone by Kimberla Lawson Roby
#9 - The Sex Chronicles: Shattering the Myth by Zane

#10 - Covenant: A Thriller  by Brandon Massey

#11 - Diary Of A Street Diva  by Ashley and JaQuavis

#12 - Don't Ever Tell  by Brandon Massey

#13 - For colored girls who have considered suicide  by Ntozake Shange

#14 - For the Love of Money : A Novel by Omar Tyree

#15 - Homemade Loves  by J. California Cooper

#16 - The Future Has a Past: Stories by J. California Cooper

#17 - Player Haters by Carl Weber

#18 - Purple Panties: An Anthology by Sidney Molare

#19 - Stackin' Paper by Joy King

#20 - Children of the Street: An Inspector Darko Dawson Mystery by Kwei Quartey

#21 - The Upper Room by Mary Monroe

#22 – Thug Matrimony  by Wahida Clark

#23 - Thugs And The Women Who Love Them by Wahida Clark

#24 - Married Men by Carl Weber

#25 - I Dreamt I Was in Heaven - The Rampage of the Rufus Buck Gang by Leonce Gaiter


#1 - Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention by Manning Marable
#2 - Confessions of a Video Vixen by Karrine Steffans
#3 - Dear G-Spot: Straight Talk About Sex and Love by Zane
#4 - Letters to a Young Brother: MANifest Your Destiny by Hill Harper
#5 - Peace from Broken Pieces: How to Get Through What You're Going Through by Iyanla Vanzant
#6 - Selected Writings and Speeches of Marcus Garvey by Marcus Garvey
#7 - The Ebony Cookbook: A Date with a Dish by Freda DeKnight
#8 - The Isis Papers: The Keys to the Colors by Frances Cress Welsing
#9 - The Mis-Education of the Negro by Carter Godwin Woodson

#10 - John Henrik Clarke and the Power of Africana History  by Ahati N. N. Toure

#11 - Fail Up: 20 Lessons on Building Success from Failure by Tavis Smiley

#12 -The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander

#13 - The Black Male Handbook: A Blueprint for Life by Kevin Powell

#14 - The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates by Wes Moore

#15 - Why Men Fear Marriage: The Surprising Truth Behind Why So Many Men Can't Commit  by RM Johnson

#16 - Black Titan: A.G. Gaston and the Making of a Black American Millionaire by Carol Jenkins

#17 - Brainwashed: Challenging the Myth of Black Inferiority by Tom Burrell

#18 - A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose by Eckhart Tolle

#19 - John Oliver Killens: A Life of Black Literary Activism by Keith Gilyard

#20 - Alain L. Locke: The Biography of a Philosopher by Leonard Harris

#21 - Age Ain't Nothing but a Number: Black Women Explore Midlife by Carleen Brice

#22 - 2012 Guide to Literary Agents by Chuck Sambuchino
#23 - Chicken Soup for the Prisoner's Soul by Tom Lagana
#24 - 101 Things Every Boy/Young Man of Color Should Know by LaMarr Darnell Shields

#25 - Beyond the Black Lady: Sexuality and the New African American Middle Class  by Lisa B. Thompson

*   *   *   *   *

Greenback Planet: How the Dollar Conquered

the World and Threatened Civilization as We Know It

By H. W. Brands

In Greenback Planet, acclaimed historian H. W. Brands charts the dollar's astonishing rise to become the world's principal currency. Telling the story with the verve of a novelist, he recounts key episodes in U.S. monetary history, from the Civil War debate over fiat money (greenbacks) to the recent worldwide financial crisis. Brands explores the dollar's changing relations to gold and silver and to other currencies and cogently explains how America's economic might made the dollar the fundamental standard of value in world finance. He vividly describes the 1869 Black Friday attempt to corner the gold market, banker J. P. Morgan's bailout of the U.S. treasury, the creation of the Federal Reserve, and President Franklin Roosevelt's handling of the bank panic of 1933. Brands shows how lessons learned (and not learned) in the Great Depression have influenced subsequent U.S. monetary policy, and how the dollar's dominance helped transform economies in countries ranging from Germany and Japan after World War II to Russia and China today. He concludes with a sobering dissection of the 2008 world financial debacle, which exposed the power--and the enormous risks--of the dollar's worldwide reign.  The Economy

*   *   *   *   *

Salvage the Bones

A Novel by Jesmyn Ward

On one level, Salvage the Bones is a simple story about a poor black family that’s about to be trashed by one of the most deadly hurricanes in U.S. history. What makes the novel so powerful, though, is the way Ward winds private passions with that menace gathering force out in the Gulf of Mexico. Without a hint of pretension, in the simple lives of these poor people living among chickens and abandoned cars, she evokes the tenacious love and desperation of classical tragedy. The force that pushes back against Katrina’s inexorable winds is the voice of Ward’s narrator, a 14-year-old girl named Esch, the only daughter among four siblings. Precocious, passionate and sensitive, she speaks almost entirely in phrases soaked in her family’s raw land. Everything here is gritty, loamy and alive, as though the very soil were animated. Her brother’s “blood smells like wet hot earth after summer rain. . . . His scalp looks like fresh turned dirt.” Her father’s hands “are like gravel,” while her own hand “slides through his grip like a wet fish,” and a handsome boy’s “muscles jabbered like chickens.” Admittedly, Ward can push so hard on this simile-obsessed style that her paragraphs risk sounding like a compost heap, but this isn’t usually just metaphor for metaphor’s sake. She conveys something fundamental about Esch’s fluid state of mind: her figurative sense of the world in which all things correspond and connect. She and her brothers live in a ramshackle house steeped in grief since their mother died giving birth to her last child. . . . What remains, what’s salvaged, is something indomitable in these tough siblings, the strength of their love, the permanence of their devotion.—WashingtonPost

*   *   *   *   *

The White Masters of the World

From The World and Africa, 1965

By W. E. B. Du Bois

W. E. B. Du Bois’ Arraignment and Indictment of White Civilization (Fletcher)

*   *   *   *   *

Ancient African Nations

*   *   *   *   *

If you like this page consider making a donation

online through PayPal

*   *   *   *   *

Negro Digest / Black World

Browse all issues

1950        1960        1965        1970        1975        1980        1985        1990        1995        2000 ____ 2005        


*   *   *   *   *

The Death of Emmett Till by Bob Dylan  The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll  Only a Pawn in Their Game

Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson Thanks America for Slavery

*   *   *   *   *

The Journal of Negro History issues at Project Gutenberg

The Haitian Declaration of Independence 1804  / January 1, 1804 -- The Founding of Haiti 

*   *   *   *   *

*   *   *   *   *

ChickenBones Store (Books, DVDs, Music, and more)




update 2 March 2012




Home   Selected Diary Notes  Selected Letters   Selected Poems   Marcus Bruce Christian  Richard Wright